Photography curator spent 37 years at AMPAS

Robert Cushman, photography curator for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died July 13 in Kentucky. He was 62.

Born in Indianapolis, Ind., Cushman graduated UCLA and joined the staff of the Academy in 1972.

Over the course of his 37-year career with the Academy, Cushman developed and enhanced the library’s vast photograph collection, which now numbers in excess of 10 million items. He was instrumental in obtaining major studio archival collections — most recently the United Artists Collection — as well as those from major individual industry figures including Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, George Cukor and many others.

Cushman developed systems to make sure the collections were available to researchers and created procedures to conserve photographs.

Prior to joining the Academy staff, Cushman served as a research fellow at the American Film Institute and produced program notes for film series at the L.A. County Museum of Art.

He contributed to books including “Hollywood at Your Feet: The Story of the World-Famous Chinese Theatre” (with Stacey Endres), “Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre: The Hand and Footprints of the Stars from the Silents to ‘Star Trek'” (with Stacey Endres), “Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend” (introduction and photograph selection) and “Douglas Fairbanks” (photographic editor).

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